Major depression is a mental disorder that usually manifests as instances of an overall down mood that noticeably impacts a person’s daily life.  Activities and interests that a person usually finds enjoyable, hold little to no interest.  The symptoms of major depression can vary from person to person, but many common signs include changes in sleeping patterns and eating habits, relationships, school or work habits, even grooming and other health habits.  Major depression lasts at least two weeks but usually much longer, depending on the person, circumstances and whether or not treatment is being administered.

In addition to a depressed mood, some of the common signs of major depression can be loss of interest in sex, trouble sleeping and loss of appetite.  The odd thing, as situations dealing with humans can be, is that in some cases, the opposite behavior manifests.  Major depression symptoms in men may be observed as general moodiness or even as irritation.  Thoughts of death or dying, including suicidal thoughts, are clear indications of a serious condition that requires immediate attention.

A breakup of a relationship, death of a loved one, job stress, the loss of income and a physical trauma or medical conditions are just a few examples of stressful events that can lead to depressive episodes.  It is reasonable that a person is going to experience feelings of sadness and loss in these circumstances, but when these feelings persist and significantly impact other aspects of life, then there is a possibility that what is being felt is a result of having major depression.

Even though there are known symptoms of major depression, it is not always properly recognized or diagnosed.  Major Depression is quite common, occurring in about 6 – 7% of the population.  Women are almost twice as likely as men to be identified as having Major Depression and are 70% more likely to experience at least one episode of major depression in their lifetime compared to men.  Compared to adults over the age of 60 years, 18–29 year olds are 70% more likely to have experienced depression over their lifetime, 30–44 year olds are 120% more likely, and 45–59 year olds are 100% more likely. In every year, 18–29 year olds are 200% more likely to have experienced depression than those ages 60+; 30–44 year olds are 80% more likely and the average age of the first episode is 32 years or age.  Of those who are depressed, only about half are receiving any treatment, even though about 30% are classified as “severe”.  People are also concerned with being stigmatized by the diagnosis of a mental disorder and it is commonly believed that is why most do not get the help that is needed. 

Fortunately, there is now an Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of depressive disorders.   Our programs provide services to those who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting.  If you or a loved one is showing signs of major depression, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan that can result in recovery.  Treatment for depression can be highly successful.  Call us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.